technology and my brain: the pros
"There is intelligence there [in physical matter], and through the relationship of person and machine there will be evolution on both sides. People will see certain aspects of themselves which they will come to understand more clearly and master; at the same time they will be releasing potentials of expression such as intelligence, cooperation, love and service within machines."
My experience with epilepsy and the brain tumor allowed me to see the absolute wonders of technology. I might not be alive today if the medical field had not devoped such precise tools and effective drugs. A scientist from the Human Brain Project at Caltech identifies the wonders of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a system that first found the source of my seizures by revealing the tumor in my head: "The ability of MR imaging to 'see' inside dense tissue makes it ideal for following the elaboration of anatomical structure in the developing nervous system" (5b). Indeed, despite the fact that we still have relatively little understanding the complexity of the brain, technology is giving us new ways of studying the its structure.
Not only does medical technology provide innovative means to learn about our physiology but also to treat and heal conditions that harm our health. The surgeon who operated on me would not have been able to successfully cut open my skull, remove the tumor and reseal the tissue without the latest equipment. The experience would also have been a challenge for me to live through painlessly if I had not taken substances to pull me out of the conscious realm, as well as an IV in my arm to regulate my blood. Various means of technology also helped me through the following period of recovery in the hospital and at home.
One of the human-made technologies that I have relied most upon has been the anti-epilepsy medication, Tegretol. I am grateful that it has given me a stable mental state free from seizures -- all without any noticeable side effects -- especially since I know it is not always as easy for other epileptics to find a medication that works for them. While I have a number of questions and hesitations about having to take an artificial substance every day (which you can read on the cons page), I also feel like Tegretol supports my overall well-being at this time in my life. As David Spangler discusses in the above quote, perhaps it is this "machine" -- the chemistry of the drug -- that will ultimately allow me to find my own potential. By staying sane, I am able to function in the world with my brothers and sisters, coexisting on their mental plane; this perspective allows me to integrate with others in order to learn, teach and communicate here in this material realm. I am very blessed to have gone through brain surgery without problems, now being able to use my brain, tapping into my creativity and intelligence to think through these issues and create this project.